In a big announcement Thursday, Major League Soccer has announced it has purchased Chivas USA from owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes, effective immediately. MLS, which is assuming operating control, will appoint a team president in the near future, and coach Wilmer Cabrera will continue in his position.
Chivas USA will be sold to a new ownership group sometime this year if all goes well, according to a league release, and discussions have been held with “very qualified potential owners.” The goal is to keep the team in Los Angeles and build a new stadium.
The team will be rebranded with a new name and logo after this season.
Commissioner Don Garber will be speaking on the topic via conference call later this afternoon.
Here are some quotes from the release:
“We thank Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes for their significant commitment to Major League Soccer. Jorge was an early believer in the league and he and Angelica have been great partners in MLS. “We collectively agreed that it is best to sell the club to new owners who are committed to securing a new stadium and providing MLS with a strong rival for the LA Galaxy.” — Garber
“When Angelica and I gained full operational control of the team for the first time 15 months ago, we were hopeful we would be able to turn it around. However, there is only one Chivas de Guadalajara, and we have realized that it will require more time, further resources, and a level of commitment that would divert too much of our focus from our other business interests. We explored opportunities to sell to other groups, but we believe selling the franchise to MLS on an expedited basis is in the best interests of all parties, including the team’s players and its dedicated fans. MLS has assured us they are committed to keeping the club in Los Angeles and finding the right owners to make the team successful in the future. We greatly appreciate the leadership and collaboration of Don Garber and his colleagues at MLS, which resulted in an efficient transaction that benefits all the parties involved.” — Vergara